Steelers T Zach Banner is back at practice — now what?

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There’s no sugar-coating it — the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line is dreadful. Some good news, though. Tackle Zach Banner, the piece who could help boost the line, returned to practice on Wednesday, the team announced.

In two seasons with Pittsburgh, Banner has played in 15 games with two starts. Banner spent the 2020 season on injured reserve after suffering a torn ACL in Week 1.

Banner suited up for the Steelers Week 3 preseason game but played in just 13 snaps before the team placed him on short-term injured reserve. Though Banner returned to practice, he’s not activated to the 53-man roster, and by the sounds of the team’s statement, he won’t be for the Green Bay game.

It’s been a slow process for Banner, which Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged in a press conference earlier this month:

“I know that [Zach] is working extremely hard day-to-day to get back to us. He sustained a significant injury, and different guys come back at different rates.”

“That’s one of the points that we’ve stressed to him and to Devin Bush,” Tomlin continued. “Early on during the process, he was dragging Devin along. When I think back to the offseason, and, through the team development process, Devin has taken off, and [Zach] is not so much so. We’ll continue to work him. He’ll continue to work in an effort to get back to us, and hopefully, it’ll be sooner rather than later.”

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